Last Updated (Tuesday, 18 August 2015 19:44) Written by Vivian Bayona Sunday, 08 August 2010 12:54
My name is Francisco Arroyo and I’m the owner of KYV Farm, along with my wife Vivian Bayona. We have three children, Viviana, Andre and Veronica – together we are the backbone of KYV Farm.
I have a rich family history, rooted in farming.
I grew up in Puerto Rico near the dairy farms of my three uncles. Though I wanted to follow in their footsteps, the cost of establishing a dairy farm on the island was too great. In 1999 we start KYV Dairy Goats, milking up to 175 goats daily to produce milk, cheese and soap. We kept the dairy until 2003.
Where did the name KYV come from?
KYV stands for my nickname and Vivian’s name in Spanish – Kiko y Vivian.
Our move to the US.
Three years after we closed our goat farm we decided to relocate to the US. We were looking for a place with better opportunities for our family, better education and employment.
For a while I supplemented my income as a roofer, but when the economy crashed I decided to take the leap, take the farm to a new level and completely shift our focus.
This time, even though I had little experience, we decided to focus on vegetables instead of livestock.
I had la LOT to learn. Luckily the Small Farms Program from University of Florida encouraged me to keep learning and trying. Organic vs. conventional farming were foreign terms for me! In the beginning we had lots of missteps and challenges but I finally began to get the hang of it. Long hours at the farm and intensive reading, in conjunction with the University, helped me define what kind of operation to choose.
Though it wasn’t the easiest path, I decided that organic was the right direction for me and my family. It fits right in with my philosophy of sustainability.
For those of you that know me, you know I don’t shy away from hard work and challenging goals. The path I’ve chosen as a small organic farmer is not for the faint of heart but it’s so worth it.
We’re so grateful to have a flourishing and well-established farm in North Florida and we hope you’ll consider joining our family!
– Francisco Arroyo